This post is part of a series based on Laine’s Home Economics: 50 Ways We Paid Off Our House on One Income. Previous posts in the series are listed on my Budget page. Laine is a Christian woman living with her family in California and living off one income. I first started following her via an email list about 7 or 8 years ago.
I am truly blessed to have a husband who can fix things. Whether it’s keeping our lawn mower going for 20 years or saving us a visit from the appliance repair man to fix our washing machine, my husband’s ability to repair almost everything we have has saved us so much over the years. Last winter when our old fridge died, I sat down and calculated how much we saved on repairs over the 10 years we had the fridge. I was amazed! Instead of spending $1,300 (the cost of a new fridge), we only spent $88.
Not only can maintenance happen with appliances and yard equipment, it can also happen in the home with clothing. I keep a basket in our bedroom where I collect socks with small holes, and any other clothing that needs to be repaired or hemmed. I try to mend a few items each week though I have gotten behind at times. Hemming pants myself saves us $10 in alterations at the drycleaners.
Being able to fix things around the home can also keep renovation costs down. When we put new walls in 2 of our upstairs bedrooms, my husband ran the wire for an electric baseboard heater for one of the bedrooms, along with a wire for the thermostat to control the heater. Even though we paid someone else to put up the drywall, we took the old walls down ourselves along with removing the old insulation and installing new insulation before the new walls went up. Both my husband and I did all the painting.
And finally, consider investing in tools or finding a way to borrow them or rent them for a low price. Because we have access to a ladder that can reach our roof, my husband has been the one to fix loose roof tiles rather than paying a contractor $150 to replace a few roof tiles. Since we’ve been doing most of our own renovations, we now have several electric sanders along with other equipment like a drill and a saw.
How do you handle maintenance and renovation in your home?
Because I love meeting new people and sharing, this post is linked to:
Frugal Friday, Thrifty Thursday